After many years in the restaurant industry across the country, Namesake Michael “Funky” Forgus started his Cincinnati hospitality experience in 1985, with Funky’s Blackstone Grille, a fine dining seafood restaurant located in Mt. Lookout.
The Blackstone Grille was well known for the BEST quality fresh seafood in Cincinnati. The fish was flown in fresh, heads and tails on, and filleted in a separate walk-in cooler. The Blackstone Grille also featured a “Wine Spectator” award winning wine list. In 1994, Funky’s Blackstone Grille was selected one of four restaurants nationally as a “Paragon of Pinot Noir”, by the Pinot Noir Association of North America.
In 1988 Funky’s Café opened in the Kenwood Towne Centre. Funky’s Café was an instant success. This lead to opening Funky’s Pub in Anderson Township in 1990 followed by Funky’s Border Cantina in 1992. All of the restaurants were wildly popular and many of those same recipes can be found in our catering repertoire including the legendary Baked Potato Soup.
Michael loves to ski, is passionate about good wine and is the proud father of three girls who are now off on their own adventures.
For more than 20 years, James has been honing his skills as a chef. Beginning with his training at the Western Culinary Institute to his roles as executive chef at restaurant and country club and all the way to being a tour caterer for rock bands, James has stayed focused on developing his skills and growing as a chef. He has a real passion for developing his team, creating inventive and interesting menus and staying proactive as the business grows. His spirit of adventure spills over into his family as his wife and two sons enjoy trying new things and getting involved. You may think that the last thing a chef wants to do when he gets home is cook, but James loves it and his fabulous family is happy that he does!
As you might imagine, the role of a General Manager of a large and growing catering and events company can lead to a lot of balls being in the air at once. Matt juggles with the best of them always keeping one eye on customer service and the other on the bottom line. While he may be known as a bit of a workaholic, you will find him making time for a round of golf or a quick trip in his kayak.
Jerin started his career in the culinary world working for our managing partner at Funky’s Blackstone Grill in the 1990’s. After many stops around the country from the east coast to the desert, he found his way back to Cincinnati and Funky’s in 2009. His natural talent for pressing palms and kissing babies is perfect for his role as our Social Catering Director as he is often a key contact for many of the large social and wedding events that we produce. Jerin is active and enjoys staying in shape and even escapes the office a few times a year to fly down a snow-covered mountain or enjoy a few rays on the beach.
One might think that after 33 years of owning and operating one of the most successful fine dining catering and restaurant companies in Northern Ohio that Ralph may be ready to retire and golf. Not so and we are the lucky recipients of all of his knowledge and energy. After joining our team in 2012, it became apparent very quickly that Ralph could help us grow our burgeoning venue management business. His quick smile and no-nonsense approach to operations has quickly made Pinecroft at Crosley Estate one of the most sought after event venues in the city. Working with Ralph is always an adventure and with his years of experience there is always a tale to be told. A particular favorite of ours is the time he survived a hot air balloon crash which is something that we’re thinking not a lot of people do, but we’re certainly glad that he did.
When Funky’s decided to open an Event Services division in 2012, Cecilia was a natural fit. She worked with us for a couple of years as a consultant while owning a highly successful wedding and event planning firm. Over her 22 years of industry experience, she has gained a national reputation for quality and service that were important to us as we opened up new opportunities to be of service to our clients. She will often say that Event Services is the fluff and flow of the company and this is true as she and her team can design and supply just about anything you could hope to imagine at an event. Of course, her years of dedication to her craft have rolled over into her private life with at least one of her six nieces and two nephews wishing to follow in her footsteps. Cecilia loves to travel and is always trying to find a new way to get to Tahiti. At least if we can’t find her one day, we’ll have a pretty good idea where to look.
As a former champion swimmer, Anne uses the same mindset and determination to manage an ever-changing production schedule in the warehouse. She and her team are responsible for purchasing, pulling, packing, cleaning, maintaining and organizing all our equipment and décor. As we can have literally dozens of events per week, this task never ends but Anne is known for her smile and laugh and is always quick to share them with anyone.
Shannon’s career in events began accidentally with additional duties while working for the Cincinnati Reds and eventually blossomed into a spectacular opportunity utilizing her natural creativity and personality. As a designer, she works with our clients at Pinecroft to help them create a vision for their event and then brings it to life. Shannon adores her three sons, the beach/ocean and antiquing in that order. She is also under the impression that swimming with sharks is a natural thing to have on one’s bucket list!
For more than four years, Sharon has been the first person at Funky’s Catering that people talk to about their weddings. Which is fortunate for us and our clients as she truly has a desire to make this once-in-a-lifetime experience special. She definitely takes her role in menu planning seriously as she is a bit of a foodie herself. In her spare time, you will find her checking out Cincinnati’s growing independent restaurant food scene and craft beer revolution. We’re lucky that her two cats Dog and Ferret share her with us five days a week!
Noah is one of those individuals who truly enjoy people and the various joys and challenges that come along. Working as a catering specialist at Good Samaritan Hospital helped to develop some very critical skills necessary to work with clients in a variety of situations. Noah applies those skills everyday as he guides our clients and his team to execute successful events. As a newlywed, all of his free time is spent with his awesome wife, friends and family.
Seth has a bit of an unassuming demeanor, but we’ve decided that in truth he thrives on excitement. He loves being the captain of “once in a lifetime” events knowing there is no opportunity for a “do-over”. He enjoys helping our staff learn and grow by leading our company service training program and guiding our clients’ experience as they have Funky’s food for the first time during their private tasting.
Before coming to Funky’s, Seth managed Maribelle Cakery and has a degree from one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, The Savannah College of Art & Design. When asked about his personal life, he ranked his wife, son and brewing beer (in that order) as his hands-down favorite things in the world.
With 26 years of catering behind her, Katy is one of our most experienced team members. This experience shines brightly when she is working closely with a client and her team to execute an event. This is evidenced by the many long-standing client relationships that she has built throughout the years. She is especially proud of her children. The oldest two serve in the Air Force and Army respectively and her third is about to graduate with a teaching degree. Katy enjoys many outside activities including hunting with a compound bow, but at this moment the one thing she is most excited about is no more tuition payments!
Ashley is one of our best and brightest with her 14 years of experience in the industry. As one of our lead Captains, she details and manages a team of service staff to execute some of our largest and most complicated events. Her attention to detail is also sought by her fellow team members as a mentor and trainer for up and coming leaders in the business. During her free time she enjoys a good camping or fishing expedition and can most likely be found playing with her precious pup, Bear.
Davidson good-naturedly wears a couple of hats at Funky’s. During the weekdays, he can be found manning the phones working with corporate and social clients to plan their menus. In the evenings and weekends, he becomes an event captain where he leads a team of servers to execute events flawlessly.
As if wearing two hats at work weren’t enough, once he leaves our walls Davidson heads home to enjoy time with his wife and his FIVE beautiful, funny, smart, crazy, sweet & wonderful kids.
With a Bachelors degree from the University of Cincinnati in Operations Management and Hospitality, Lory arrived a Funky’s ready to take on the world. Whether she is leading the charge with our backstage catering operation at Riverbend Music Center or making sure that every detail is in place for a wedding, she crafts a plan of success for each event. This variety is one of the things that she loves most about her job. This love of variety also extends to her personal life as she can often be found attending concerts, trying out the new “hot spot” eatery or cheering on the Reds. A fun and interesting fact that we just learned about Lory is that she is proficient in American Sign Language. How cool is that?!
23 years is a long time to work in the kitchen, but not to Boyce because he loves sharing what he has learned with young cooks who have a passion for food. Starting at just 17 working for our managing partner The Blackstone Grille, he has literally grown up in the business. He enjoys the fast pace environment of the kitchen, executing production at an event and supporting all areas of the business. His passion for people is evident when he speaks of his kind wife and family and his desire to help people who are new to meeting the challenge of their sobriety.
Dave is at the very heart of our daily operations. As a highly process oriented individual, he has designed many of the systems that we use to ensure that your delivery arrives on time and that you have every crouton and soup spoon you need to enjoy it. Next time you’re out and about in a park, watch your back because Dave is also an avid in-line skater and may just whiz by you!
Michael is our kind and strong gentleman at The Transept. His priorities are always to be of service to the client while being a good steward of the property. His attention to detail is legendary and his creative mind allows the daily operation and the execution of events to be taken to another level. He is at heart and in reality a fine artist who has had private showings around the country. His unique style of three dimensional paintings grace the walls of many private collectors as well as the walls of the office of our creative director.